Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 5.
The Tigers can win because…
Their quarterback is ready to handle the pressure of a big SEC road game. Zach Mettenberger looked out of his depth in important SEC road games against quality opponents last season. LSU’s signal caller lacked touch, and more importantly, he lacked a calm demeanor. Mettenberger wilted under pressure, and that’s why LSU lost at Florida in a kind of test that feels similar to this one against Georgia.
This year, however, it seems that Mettenberger has found a new level of precision and technique under the guidance of new LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who replaced Greg Studrawa in that position. Mettenberger seems much surer of himself in the pocket. He is making crisp throws and far more decisive reactions compared to 2012. He is learning how to play the position and has seemingly learned all the right lessons from last year. Cameron seems to be a massive upgrade from Studrawa and a huge reason for Mettenberger’s development.
If the version of Mettenberger seen over the past four weeks is the version that emerges in this game, LSU’s offense should definitely be able to move the ball and score against the Georgia Bulldogs' shaky defense that did not look very good against both Clemson and South Carolina. The LSU Tigers might not contain Georgia’s offense, but if it scores 38 points, it can allow 35 and still win. Mettenberger holds the key to the game and that’s why you should take LSU with your college football picks.
The Bulldogs can win because…
Mettenberger has not yet proven that he can take down an elite team. Last year, LSU beat Texas A&M before the Aggies evolved and became a top-tier squad. Johnny Manziel was still growing into the quarterback position when LSU’s defense handled him. The Tigers’ offense was not particularly good in that game, either; the defense won that clash for the Bayou Bengals. LSU also lost at Florida and at home to Alabama. In both of those games, LSU’s offense failed to make defining plays in the fourth quarter. The Tigers then lost to Clemson in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl for very similar reasons. LSU just had to gain one final first down late in the fourth quarter to put the game away, but Mettenberger couldn’t come up with that play.
Mettenberger did beat TCU earlier this season, but TCU has turned out to be a fairly mediocre team. Mettenberger is still waiting for that one big signature win at LSU, and until he conquers his demons, it’s hard to fully trust him in a road game. If you’re taking Georgia with your sports picks it’s because you believe they have more than enough offensive firepower to outscore LSU and Mettenberger here.
Outlook & NCAA Football Betting Prediction:
This game comes down to one question: do you trust Zach Mettenberger to win this game or not? The sense here is that Mettenberger has not faced an opponent as good as Georgia. He will make mistakes and enable the Bulldogs to prevail on the college football odds.NCAA Football Picks: Georgia -3